The Ogun State Police Command has warned those agitating for Yoruba nation not to go ahead with a mass rally said to have been scheduled for May 1 in Abeokuta.
The command said “available intelligence shows that the organizers of these rallies are being sponsored by certain individuals outside the State and the country to destabilize Ogun State.”
In a statement by the police spokesman in Ogun, Abimbola Oyeyemi, on Thursday, the police revealed that it was disturbed about the activities of the Oduduwa nation agitators, staging series of public rallies in different parts of the Ogun, “thereby causing serious panic in the minds of the people, and are yet not relenting.”
While conceding that citizens have constitutional rights to freedom of association and expression, the police warned that these rights should not be exercised to the detriment of other citizens.
Going down memory lane, Oyeyemi recalled that, “the group had on 21/3/2021 staged a public rally at Isara Remo for the actualization of Oduduwa republic, where they blocked highways and made free-flow of traffic very difficult for other road users. The same group staged another rally in Shagamu on 16/4/2021 where they made an attempt to attack Shagamu police station for no reason. Yet, on 25/4/2021, they held another rally at Ajuwon, where in the course of stopping them from distributing inciting letters, policemen and other security agents were jeered at and pelted with missiles.”
As the group plans a mega rally in Abeokuta, Oyeyemi warned the general public that it could be hijacked by hoodlums.
“We have exhibited restraint and absolute calm even in the face of extreme provocations by the organizers of the rallies and their cohorts.
“However, it is important to note that the police will not perpetually stand by and watch public conduct of some citizens hold others to ransom and threaten the corporate existence of the country. The Command is especially worried that if care is not taken, the pains and agonies that similar agitations and rallies are presently causing in some parts of the country may be repeated in our very peaceful Ogun State.
“The Command, therefore, wishes to appeal to the leaders of this group to shelve the idea of staging another public rally in any part of the State for now, as such is capable of undermining the relative peace being enjoyed in the entire State.
“Consequently, the rally slated for Abeokuta on 1st May, 2021, is viewed by the Command as one too many in the State, and therefore not approved. Parents and guardians are hereby advised to warn their children and wards not to be involved in any of such gathering that may expose them to violence and consequently bring them on a collision course with the security agencies.
“The understanding and cooperation of all the good people of Ogun State, including the organizers of the rallies, is hereby solicited by the Command and will be highly appreciated, please.”